Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 25, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

2:00 pm
deductibility, health savings accounts. we need to start over not with the washington centered one-size-fits-all plan you just heard from my opponents, but a and that puts the control money back into your hands. that we can keep the good things without destroying our entire system. >> a question for delegate comstock. >> delegate comstock, america's deficits --den debt and deficits. cutting waste, fraud, and tax abuse is not enough to solve the problem. what are programs would you be willing to cut or eliminate and what federal taxes -- what federal taxes would you be willing to increase? >> the problem is not that we
2:01 pm
have debt. the problem is we are taxing our business is so much, putting so much regulation on the net we are running up those costs, and then we have fewer jobs. -- since the 1970's, we have not had such a low labor participation rate. when you do not have people in the work lay's, you have less money creating jobs, taxpayers, so we need to first and foremost have a growth economy. that's why that has to be our number one priority, and for six years, we've then waiting. they do not get that that has to be the number one priority. we've been top for jobs in virginia because that has always be our priority. i talked about cutting taxes so we get more money out there into the private sector. you grow jobs. we get those one in five people on food stamps back to work, and then you are going to save a lot of money on it stamps. people want a job. then you are going to have money coming in. i think one of the things we did
2:02 pm
in virginia was we said to our state employees -- we made them our partners, which i want to do with federal employees. you find savings in your budget, and we will give you a bonus for finding those savings. enough forly found 3% bonus, they found enough and federal savings because our federal employees are our best efforts -- experts who can go in and find the savings, so i want to empower them to find those savings and work with us. then we can get that growth economy going, get people back to work. thehe 90's, we balanced budget, and we did not have to have drastic cuts. we got growth rolling again. one of the things i want to see it is take that thousand dollars child tax credit and make it $2000 so that families can keep more of their money for raising their kids and have more flexibility with that. i think the growth economy messages will be a big help in
2:03 pm
getting our deficit down. that's what we did in the 1990's. >> supervisor foust, one minute. >> have been working on fiscal challenges for seven years. it is hard to recall how tough it was seven years ago when the great depression step, but in the fairfax economy with the general fund budget is about 3.5 billion dollars, we paid $650 million deficit in one year. we're not allowed to have deficit, so we had to figure out how to balance that budget, what could be cut to work with the community, to work with the staff, and we prioritized. i know how to balance budgets. i know how to dig in. i've done it as audit chair and a supervisor chair. what we cannot do is to allow the republican proposal, the budget proposal which you are probably familiar with, to cut
2:04 pm
infrastructure. this is how republicans are approaching the fiscal challenge. >> question for john foust please. >> after a link the debate, congress added nearly $11 billion to the trust fund, a stopgap amount that avoids insolvency but is expected to only last until next may. should the highway trust fund go insolvent, it will halt vitally needed transportation here in northern virginia. this is a potentially two-question -- would you support or oppose weight -- so,ing the gas tax, and if if you do oppose raising the gas tax, how would you fund the trust fund? >> you know, transportation,
2:05 pm
obviously, is a critical issue in northern virginia. fortunately, our state delegation in a bipartisan way came together with governor mcdonnell and passed the transportation funding bill. unfortunately, my opponent voted against that transportation bill. it is a game changer in northern virginia. we on the federal level -- there are proposals in congress today avoid the need for increasing the gas tax. infrastructure banks, bridge act -- these are the types of opportunities we have to focus on infrastructure investment without raising tax. i would support those approaches. i would oppose an increase in the gas tax. i think that -- again, if we make the right investments in infrastructure and education and research and then get our economy moving, these types of
2:06 pm
challenges will be behind us. we will be able to move this economy forward. one minute. >> i think we need to have things like davis-bacon repeal or reform so that we can be stretching our transportation dollars further. i do support offshore drilling, and i had a bill that was incorporated, the bill we passed in virginia, and now we have bipartisan support. senator warner, former senator relegationt of our supports offshore drilling. the money from the royalties will be a dedicated stream of money for transportation, so i strongly support that. obviously, it's also a good thing now with the international situation. my competitive billing bill that my opponent opposed -- he talks about $3 million or $4 million he saved -- he opposed saving hundreds of millions of dollars on this competitive eating bill. if we took that to washington -- i know the unions oppose it, but if we took that and had competitive bidding, we would
2:07 pm
have more money on all of our infrastructure projects instead of what this president and administration are doing right now. they are putting project labor agreement union mandates on all of these projects, which are running up the costs, which means you have fewer dollars, and's why the leadership of scott your care to work with us on the competitive eating and all my colleagues with great help in getting that bill passed. >> question for delegate comstock. >> i want to return to the subject of regulation. given the burden that federal regulations imposed on america's businesses, currently estimated at $2 trillion annually, how would you ensure federal agencies use the best available practices to evaluate the cost of regulations? also, would you support a requirement that congress must approve all regulations which are expected to cost more than 100 million dollars annually? >> yes, i do support that requirement. i think that is important.
2:08 pm
this administration has larded on all kinds of regulations on businesses that are hurting our economy and our making job creation difficult every day. until people tell me what problems they are having, we work with you to try and solve that problem. ask what coalition we can put together. it's the coalition that gets it done. that's what i've done working with people like we did with the data center regulation, and we need to do that on regulation in washington because this president keeps going in through agencies and putting in all these new regulations. he has killed our coal district, which drives up energy costs. held up and like the keystone pipeline, which we could move forward on.
2:09 pm
at every turn, this administration and policies that my opponent supports is killing our economy and stopping it in its tracks. what frustrates me so much is it does not have to be this way. we have seen a different way in virginia. u.n. louden do it. -- you here in louden do it. they love working because you have a working, business-friendly environment here. people are coming here from all over the country. we heard that from northrop grumman when they came from california. california would not even call them back when they said they were leaving, so they came here. they did not pick maryland the they picked virginia because we are a low regulation, right to work, low-tax state, and we need to be that kind of country if we are going to compete internationally. [applause]
2:10 pm
>> thank you very much. karen, a question for supervisor -- >> rebuttal. one minute. >> my opponent likes to talk about eliminating regulation and dealing with it, but at the fairfax county board of supervisors us chairman of the economic commission, we do it. we work with industry groups. we have staff working with industry groups all the time looking at the regulation that is in place, trying to improve it, trying to make it less costly and create a more business-friendly environment. you can talk about your business environment in virginia, but i guarantee you in fairfax county and northern virginia, we have a very business-friendly environment. why opponent likes to point to -- my opponent likes to point to things and say that they kill the economy. the reason we attract businesses to northern virginia is because we have an excellent educational system. my opponent voted to cut 600
2:11 pm
what he million dollars from support for public schools. from support for public schools. my opponent voted against the transportation funding bill. if she wants to create jobs, she will have to come over and get on board with what it takes to create jobs. >> time. >> thank you. >> the national labor relations 's role as an objective arbiter has been called into question. lamar alexander introduced a bill last week that would restructure the national labor relations board and evenly balance it between democrats and republicans. would you support this bill? or do you feel it is unnecessary? why? i am not familiar with the bill.
2:12 pm
i think the national labor anations board plays important role, and i would be supportive of it continuing to play that role, obviously in a fair and reasonable way. to commentut specifically on that bill, i'm afraid i cannot do that. >> elegant comstock -- delegate comstock, one minute. >> i strongly support that bill and again, strongly support davis-bacon repeal. the board has been out of control over the past six years. anybody in business knows that. you all see that every day. they are trying to shut down business, and they have totally gone in on the side of unions. instead of being at their arbiter, they have become an advocate for unions. the supreme court recently overturned one of their actions unanimously, meaning every sigel supreme court guys said, "you are out of control."
2:13 pm
that's the national labor relations board. you know how important it is to have someone who understands when an out-of-control agency is after your business. i am the person in virginia who passed the right to a secret ballot, something that the nlrb current members do not like, but i will fight for to make sure we do not have -- we have secret ballot elections, not just in virginia, which you are entitled to, but in the entire country. >> thank you. [applause] thanks. [laughter] ask a question next. it has been referenced a couple of times. comstock, delegate can you explain why you voted mcdonnell'srnor transportation plan? it was hailed as a
2:14 pm
once-in-a-lifetime infusion here in a state where transportation problems are significant. a moment ago, your opponent referenced it as a game changer. can you explain why you voted against the bill? would you do so again today? >> i would note something my opponent has not noted -- that there was bipartisan opposition as well as i partisan support. i know that this was a difficult issue, and we did all worked together very civilly on it. you know in the business community that i did meet and discuss this with you, but i was concerned about a disproportionate tax on northern virginia. we got a higher tax than anyone else, and there were also all kinds of additional taxes put on different kinds of businesses here in northern virginia. i know it was a tough call, but that was the call i made. now that has passed, what we do in virginia unlike in washington and what we need to do instead of the name-calling and attacking is we immediately came together and asked how we would make the bill work. an important part of the bill was -- and we had had previous legislation on this -- was to
2:15 pm
focus on conjunction relief and to make sure the money goes to injunction relief come not to things like the arlington trolley that's already getting tens of millions of dollars. those of us who were concerned about a said this is what would happen. i was told that would never happen. now you see this going forward. i will work with my state and local colleagues to make sure the money does not go to things like that it comes to places like loud and where we are getting shortchanged on transportation money -- places like loud and -- places like loudon. all of you who do not support the transportation bill still support me because they know i am the one to get things done. , one minute. foust qwest's transportation bill literally is a game changer -- >> this transportation bill literally is a game changer. my opponent is now apparently
2:16 pm
taking credit for it after and wants ust it to think that she is somehow making this work. let me tell you -- that will helps support dollars rail -- that bill helps support dollars rail - d- dulles rail. are you willing to be there and take on the challenge and meet the challenge, or are you just going to show up after the fact and cut a written and take the credit? that is unacceptable. importanttion is too to play political games with in northern virginia. we are on the track now because of that transportation bill to solving a significant challenge to our quality of life and to our ability to attract businesses in northern virginia. think that was a personal attack. i think that was a
2:17 pm
characterization. [laughter] you will get to speak in a moment. a question for supervisor foust, please. changes were made by congress and the number and destination of flights allowed it reagan national airport. that's the so-called perimeter rule. the federal aviation administration authorization of the bill is expected to come up during the next congress. what will you do to keep congress from expanding the perimeter role and allowing more flights to reagan in order to , which islles airport a major economic injured for virginia and especially northern virginia? >> i will do everything i can to stop that from happening. -- tysonsport is corner, dulles corridor, these are economic engines, but the ultimate economic injured in northern virginia is dulles economic- the ultimate
2:18 pm
engine in northern virginia. advocate for northern virginia's economy, i will do everything i can to ensure that dulles airport is a success. >> delegate comstock, one minute. >> i would just like to note that i do support dulles rail and have, and that's why my competitive bill was so helpful so that thee chairman could get the five votes needed to go forward with a rail to loudon. my opponent wrote a letter and said to keep the project labor agreement on. i should also note that in 2007, when he ran for office, he opposed dulles rail above ground. one of the first things he did when elected was right a letter to say to stop the project and
2:19 pm
do it a different way, something that senator kaine and congressman wolf said he would've derailed the project altogether. he was hanging out with the labor union guy who was trying to put the project labor agreement back on there. that was one of the game changers that chairman york and chairman all of a working together with congressman wolf, with our governor to get that forwarded is why we were able to get that project going, and i support it and will continue to work with all of you on it. >> robert, a question for .elegate comstock >> the latest estimates suggest u.s. companies are losing a staggering $250 billion every year in intellectual property .heft to two cyber espionage a report found that fewer than 40% of students who enter college intending to major in a science, technology, engineering, and math actually
2:20 pm
complete a stem degree. what will you do to expand secondary and higher education programs focused on careers in stem and thus enhance america's cyber security workforce? >> thank you. a leader on cyber security, so thank you. we do have more members of the chamber working on national .ecurity and cyber security on the education front, we have been doing that in virginia. we passed a higher education bill very much focused on them, and my husband was a map teacher, came to northern virginia, fairfax county, served in the schools for 30 years. i know how important that is. we had amendments in our budget that one of our appropriations members worked with me and with joe made to have money -- it is sseateam education now because e added arts so they can work with
2:21 pm
preschool children, and they have programs modeled all across the country on stem education,'s team education, to get that stemce and technology -- education, steam education. my husband has been in the school system for over 30 years. my mom was a teacher her entire life. i come from a family of educators. i think i'm the only one on stage and had children in the public schools. my husband has served them for 30 years. i support school choice and opportunity for everyone, but we have got to improve our science and technology education. congressman wolf has carried that out, working with nasa, working with orbital science, working with all of our great companies here. surel continue to make that education and stem education will be a top priority and work with great companies n the do that.
2:22 pm
>> and a 21st century knowledge economy, we absolutely have to focus on these types of educational challenges. stem is something we have been talking about and working with an fairfax county since i've been on the board. certainly working with the community colleges to ensure the programs are in place, working with george mason to ensure programs are in place. even more important i think in terms of getting kids started on the right, we've been working with fairfax county public schools, and they have a true .ignificant commitment it's something i believe in and in -- it's believe something i believe in and something that is important. we need to train and creative problem-solving and get away from the standardized memory testing. we can do that and are moving in that direction, and i am very excited about the prospects. >> thank you. getting close to the end. ,uestion for supervisor foust
2:23 pm
please. >> coal provides 40% of america's electricity. on september 15, the government accountability office issued a report indicating that 18% of the country's coal fire power -- 13% of the country's coal fire power capacity would be taken off line. affordable and abundant energy, particularly electricity, is vital to northern virginia and our country's well-being. do you support or oppose efforts to regulate greenhouse gases -- greenhouse gas emissions through the clean air act? i support the effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the clean air act. the issue is, obviously, what is .he impact going to be i believe that climate change is that weicant challenge must address. we've got to get away from the carbon emissions that are going
2:24 pm
into our atmosphere. however, we cannot just get there overnight. we have very good things happening in terms of natural gas and the production being generated in this country that coal. less polluting than i think that we need to focus on that. we need to look at the coal fire -- the carbon-generating coal fire plants and make sure that we are not having to dramatic having at -- or dramatic impact on ratepayers, and also, we need to be concerned about the economy in areas dealing with things like this. i believe we have to get away from carbon generators as the primary source of energy in this country, and this is one way that needs to be explored to do that. the epa is nlrb,
2:25 pm
another agency that's out of control. certainly, our coal companies in the state of virginia know that. the policies my opponent discusses are killing our coal industry, and then he is not supporting things like offshore drilling, the keystone pipeline, and other ways we can have more affordable energy. the way you get an economy moving is to have affordable energy. our gas prices have gone up. if you are thinking about a single mom out there trying to improve herself, trying to get to school at night, trying to get that better job -- if we are making her gas cost more every day, making her electricity cost more, she cannot get ahead. we need to have affordable energy to have a good economy. that is the all of the above energy policy we have done in virginia. part of that drilling bill was going to go to alternative energy research and our
2:26 pm
to have the for you science and technology folks in our universities coming up with good new solutions while we use it natural resources to make more affordable economy and better opportunity for all. >> this is the final question, the 11th question of the debate, sans going to give each candidate two minutes to respond -- so i'm going to give each candidate two minutes to respond. , to remain comstock competitive and meet future demands for products and services, many u.s. businesses need access to scaled and unskilled foreign workers. this is a potentially two-par question. one, do you support copper hints of immigration reform, including resolving the status of undocumented workers already contributing to this economy, and second, if not, what specific immigration reform proposals would you support? do you favor implementing those reforms by amending the law through the legislative process or by executive order by the
2:27 pm
president? >> i certainly think immigration needs to be done by legislation, not executive order. i think that is very important. first and foremost, we need to stop playing politics with this, secure the borders, and just do it. we know how to do it. fedex can track packages coming in here all the time. we can track people coming into the country, and we can do that right. we secure our borders. we enforce our laws, and then we do things like passing these is, which i support, which is very good for our economy. i think we need to do a step-by-step process. people need to have trust in the process. so often, when you have these huge, monolith bills, you have all these unexpected consequences. when you can have base hits -- you all know that in business. when you can go in and just do good base hits and then move that -- build success to move to the next one, that is what we can do with immigration. we need to have in with the
2:28 pm
community. we need to have people supporting that, and they have to trust that the system is going to work. we need to have one immigration system for everybody that is fair, equitable, that people who play by the rules get in here, and they do not have to wait long. one of the most beautiful things to a naturalization ceremony. this is a wonderful process. we are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws, and we can be both and get that right. we have the technology. let's use our technology community, and let's get the immigration issue right. >> thank you. no,ink her answer is that she does not believe in copperheads of immigration reform. i do. i think that the united states senate passed a very reasonable bill. believe the senate passed a
2:29 pm
bill which rest in a comprehensive way that include securing the border. we've got to do that. but it also provided a way to with the flow of millions of undocumented immigrants in the country. ways to help grow the economy. the boarded across the challenges we have. the united states senate was able to come together in a bipartisan way and support that bill. it moved over the house, and we cannot get the republicans in the house of representatives to support it. why? this is one of the biggest challenges we have as a nation, and it's also one of the biggest opportunities we have as a nation. the workforce we would bring out of not havinger
2:30 pm
papers would make tremendous contribution. we need -- whether it is social security or medicare, we do not have enough people in the workforce paying for all of us who are my age and over. the comprehensive immigration reform is just an intelligent, smart thing to do, and we should >> thank you come again that spirit a time for closing statements. -- thank you, candidates. time for closing statements. thank you so much for the opportunity to meet with you all today and thank you for the privilege of being able to represent you in the house of delegates over the past five years and the privilege of being able to work, start a business, work with our federal government, work with our and no, as your woman, i will take
2:31 pm
all of this knowledge i have learned with you and take that to washington and on day one, hit the ground running to get results. i have that record. i am the only one here who has actually passed legislation and gotten bipartisan results. we have to get people back to work and i know how to do that because that's what i have spent a career doing. in the 1990's, we worked on welfare reform. welfare reform is an issue that this president has unraveled. we did all these things to make welfare reform so people would get back to work and now he is unraveling appeared we have to put people back in good, high-paying jobs where they get on that letter to prosperity -- letter to prosperity. so many people are concerned. children are not
2:32 pm
going to have the same kind of like they had. at myents are here today mom and dad were the first in their family to go to college. they worked very hard so i could go to law school. i started working when i was 14 and paid through college. i had two babies when i was in night school. need to reward that american dream again. we do have very different visions. my opponent hasn't talked about job creating legislation. when you look at something like the datacenter legislation come i work with you to get that. that is a great transportation issue. we know the jobs of the 21st century don't all have to be in an office. with officee of you buildings, we want to fill those office buildings. but there is no reason the offices can't be closer to. not everyone has to go to washington.
2:33 pm
but everybody has to go to tyson's. you can stay here and half more local offices and we can expand that economy there. i will always be working with you here in the business community as i have over the past 25 years to make sure that we get those smart solutions. we don't need to have higher taxes. when they are taking half of your paycheck, we know we have to find new ways to do things. that's what we did with competitive bidding legislation. how can we stretch the transportation dollars further? care -- if we returned our health care, put it back to the citizens and said you get to decide what you want in your plan, you get to have a deductible, you can take it from job to job, you're going to have stay onyour kids can the plan if you want. these are all things that are very possible without having a
2:34 pm
one-size-fits-all health and human services department coming in and telling all of your business is what you have to do. business whoo a spent thousands and thousands of dollars on software to adapt to this program and it turned out it didn't work. who is reimbursing you for that? nobody. if we put more of this in your control, we know you would do it better because that's why virginia is top for jobs because we give you more control over your dollar and how you do things and that has been a great way to get the job done. , again,ducation front we have to have more choice and opportunity. we have the best schools in the country. top 100 look at the schools, many of them are here in this area. loudoun county, loudoun was just named the base place in the country to live.
2:35 pm
-- best place in the country to live. the 10th district is the best place to work in the best place that modernte all technology and all of our innovation and what we can do. that's how we lift people out of poverty and get them on a path to middle-class and really experience that american dream that my parents experienced when my dad came from a farm and my mom lived in a one bedroom apartment. my grandmother kept the house so clean, i thought it was neat that we lived in an apartment. this is the american dream we've all lived. we all want that for our children and we can do that in this great and diverse community. guest: supervisor faust. >> thank you very much for this opportunity. i do want to point out, my opponents says i don't
2:36 pm
talk about job creation. i think all of you in this audience realize what it takes to create jobs in northern virginia. there, butt here and fundamentally, what we need is a community that will track the people with the innovative -- the type of people who want to create new businesses. they want to live somewhere that a transit oriented and has great educational system and has a transportation system that is not dysfunctional. that invites women into the community and doesn't tell them -- these are the types of things in the 21st century that make you difference. -- there was a plant there and people went to that plant to work.
2:37 pm
that's where the jobs were. today, the jobs come to us because we have a tremendous community here that attracts the best and the brightest. we need to continue to make investments in education and transportation and respect diversity and work to create a community that attracts those types of people. when i go to congress, my past thewill be to get partisanship and work across the aisle so that we can deal with the challenges and make washington work again. i've demonstrated i can do that. we need a functioning congress to address and solve our fiscal challenges and to create job opportunity by investing in job creators like education, infrastructure, research and involvement. we need to improve education at all levels him including expanding early childhood education and placing more
2:38 pm
emphasis on stem education. let's make college more affordable. we need a vast copperheads of immigration reform so we can take advantage of everyone. and make it easier for highly educated foreigners to come or to stay in our country and contribute to our prosperity. i hope i've earned your support by demonstrating that i have a record of working with democrats and republicans to cut waste, balance budgets, make investments in education and transportation and to support a woman's right to make our own -- her own health care decisions. parties to with both find practical solutions. elections are about choices. voters of the 10th district are going to have a clear choice in november. i believe it will be a choice between my commonsense problem-solving record and
2:39 pm
barbara comstock's extreme right-wing agenda on ,ransportation, education women's right to make her own health care decisions. on transportation, i stood with the northern virginia business community and supported governor mcdonald's bipartisan transportation funding bill. we were told by the business community it was very important. and we stood with you. barbara comstock stood with the extreme to party members in richmond and voted against it. on education, i stood with the northern virginia business community to support investments in k-12. our comstock stood with the extreme right-wing republicans in richmond and voted to slash $620 million from support for public schools. on women's health care -- this is an issue that is relevant to
2:40 pm
our economy. women are running businesses. they are probably the most dynamic part of our congress and we have a delegate who wants to tell them if they bring businesses here, leave their choices behind. because they are going to have to let the state tell them how to make health care decisions. that is not acceptable. i will conclude by saying that this has been a tremendous opportunity and i want to thank you. but i also want to thank you for everything you do, day in and day out. you ato many of different events and i know you were all working hard and we are working together. that's why northern virginia is as successful as it is. i don't know what parties most of your income a but i do know we are working together to get things done and i thank you for that. >> thank you very much.
2:41 pm
a round of applause for our candidates. [applause] >> barbara comstock wants to make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape and. just like the white ring republicans in congress. -- right-wing republicans in congress. >> i think roe versus wade should be overturned. that's all i need to know. i'm john faust and i approved this message. >> trash talking politics. dishonest and negative campaign .gainst barbara comstock c don't be fooled by faust. comstock wrote the laws that protect women and children from human traffickers. restored million dollars -- millions of dollars.
2:42 pm
i'm barbara comstock and i approved this message. we had to cut it a lot of waste. we consolidated offices. we can walk a few feet. replaced computers, but kept the monitors feared they work fine. i approved this message because congress doesn't need another right-winger. -- didn'tely need need so many government studies. guest: barbara comstock is a devoted wife, mother, public servant. she wrote the law to protect women and children from human traffickers. barbara comstock gets results. her leadership created new jobs and help restore billions to our schools.
2:43 pm
she will be a great congresswoman for all of us. the regina 10th district u.s. house debate is one of more than and senate races from across the country that we are featuring as part of our campaign 2014 coverage. coming up tonight, this one in nebraska's second congressional district. on harry waller. at one point time, our homeless veterans i signed a contract with united states government saying we would go to battle and we would give our lives if necessary. when you talk about homeless veterans, when you talk about the va hospital in the veterans cemetery, you hear his name. for caring about our veterans. >> i'm lee terry and i approved this message. >> my dad flew a be 26 bomber
2:44 pm
over france on d-day. he taught me to never forget those who serve our nation. my disagreements with the cumbersome and terry are personal, but his votes against veterans sure are. cumbersome and terry shut down the government, defended his own pay while soldiers were on the battlefield and protected congressional perks like taxpayer paid health care for life altering veteran care. our promises to veterans are personal. >> lee terry is fighting to keep our neighborhoods safe and strong. he secured grants to strengthen community policing and he has fought for the violence against women act. supported new laws to crack down on human trafficking. he passed a law empowering a neighborhood advocate to start a new fm radio station, giving a voice to community working to stop street violence. working hard to keep us safe. >> i'm lee terry and i approved this message. >> i'm not running for congress
2:45 pm
to represent any political party. i'm running to make a difference for nebraska. reducing partisanship in washington is not one easy step. i'm going to work from day one to create a coalition of 25 members of congress to set aside partisanship and focus on solving problems. just like i've done for 16 years. brad ashford. working together. changing congress. and brad ashford face-off in a debate tonight in nebraska's second district, which includes omaha. president obama will be at the white house this afternoon announcing the resignation of eric holder. he is stepping down after six years as the nation's top law enforcement official. let coverage of that begins tonight at 4:30 p.m. eastern. members of congress are weighing
2:46 pm
in on the attorney general's announcement a. on the senate side, this from patrick leahy -- again, president obama will have the announcement of his recognition -- resignation. secretary john kirby briefed reporters earlier today on the latest airstrikes against isis in syria, including the bombing of key oil refineries. he talked about the west -- the
2:47 pm
u.s. army division to iraq to provide assistance for iraqi security forces. , partner forces refineries isil oil located in eastern syria. an isil vehicle. we are assessing the outcomes of these attacks. initially, we believe they were successful. i will show you some imagery to demonstrate where that confidence comes from. these small-scale refineries provide fuel and money to finance their continued attacks.
2:48 pm
they are an economic asset to support future of rations. producing between 300-500 oil isrels per day, isil estimated to generate millions of dollars of revenue from these refineries. strategic attacks thet specifically to get at way this group sustains, leads and controls these oilfields. there will be more. if i can add the first slide, i will walk you through the specifics. this is a map of the area. .t was in eastern syria refineries. this is a breakdown of how it went by the numbers.
2:49 pm
16 total fighter aircraft participated in this. .0 from saudi arabia and uae six from the night states. most of the aircraft were not u.s. aircraft. munitions, 41 total bombs were dropped. the majority dropped by coalition aircraft. uaeetween saudi arabia and and 18 by the u.s. i do not have the breakdown by country. you look at the bottom, this is not a small point. 80% of the tonnage of the bombs dropped on this refineries, 80% of the explosive effect was caused by the coalition aircraft. that comes from the fact that the bombs they were dropping rope greater weight. -- were of greater weight.
2:50 pm
they were flying with avier tonnage bombs than we were. i don't think there were any 2000 counters. .- 2000 pounders i'm pretty sure the highest weight was about a thousand. most of the ones we dropped were 250 pounds. >> [indiscernible] >> i don't know the reason why. i don't write the air tasking order. i have no idea how they came up with who was going to fly -- you are missing my overall point here. 80% of the tonnage. slide. this is just a photo of one of the modular will refineries -- oil refineries. i want to point something out. you can see the before and after.
2:51 pm
you can see the shadow here. you can still see a shadow in this shot. were trying real hard to be precise in these attacks. it wasn't about obliterating refineries. it was about degrading their ability to use these refineries. assessing.l i and a, the goal was to get at their use of it. much of the parts of the refineries we were going for are areas where they have office spaces and communities equipment. you can see the tower itself. -- next slide. it's part of the refinery process. >> [indiscernible] werecause these refineries
2:52 pm
in place before isil came along. that syria gets to a point where it is better governed -- we would like to preserve the flexibility for those refineries to still continue to contribute to a stable economy in what we hope will be a stable country. when assad regime is not in control anymore. >> ground forces will go in and hold those areas if you just preserve them. >> we preserve some capability. for a u.s. asking ground force to go in there, absolutely not. >> you want to keep the infrastructure intact. >> we want to keep some infrastructure available in the hopes that it can be used again one day by the moderate opposition. >> where the real money comes
2:53 pm
from. >> whose money? >> the crude oil, the infrastructure, that's where the isis money comes from. if you are going to take out --s is potential capability >> they are not going to be using these refineries for some time. >> you're saying there are no ground troops. who is going to fill up the vacuum? >> we talked about this before. we are working on a train and equip program for moderate opposition. that is going to take some time. you guys are thinking about these strikes in the wrong way, if i may. then there'ss and this immediate assumption there is going to be some sort of holding up ground. , the kinds of attacks we are conducting in syria our strategic level. we are trying to remove the means through which this organization sustains it. that is the goal.
2:54 pm
iraq is a different goal. in iraq, there are security forces on the ground responsible for defending and securing their own population at their borders. many of the strikes we have taken in syria been of a tactical nature to help them take back territory or ground or prevent attacks on them. it's a different type of mission here. which is why we wanted to preserve flexibility on the position -- precision. >> you said last week training the opposition might take up to one year. who is going to fill the vacuum? >> a vacuum of what? these refineries? they are not operable right now. didn't completely obliterate them, but you can look and see that they're not going to be pumping any refined oil out anytime soon. >> would you say they are inoperable? >> we are still assessing the
2:55 pm
results of these strikes. let me get through a couple of slides here. go head. this is the next one. yardsompound is about 200 tofrom the northeast corner the southwest corner of the slide. we hit the half we needed to hit. that's another example there. for ana video i can show attack on this facility. if you can show the footage. [no audio] we will make this available to us well.
2:56 pm
o you as well. i'm sure we will have more video available. this is all we have right now. you can see it was just that corner of the compound. that's what it looks like there. again, very precise, very lethal, very targeted. i don't know any more than i know why we dropped certain bombs on certain airframes. the point was to render them incapable of using these refineries. there are other refineries they have. continue to look at future strategic level targets against isis in syria. you will see more such action. strikes began a few
2:57 pm
days ago, have you seen any evidence of assad forces taking any ground that would previously be held by isis? the iraqitent has forces been able to retake territory because of american airstrikes? >> i haven't seen any movement by assad regime forces to move into facilities or infrastructure that we fit. -- that we have hit. seen much in terms of reaction by isil as a result of these attacks. we are not seeing a lot of movement by them in the last couple of days. i could point to the preservation of the dam or their ability to work with the kurds
2:58 pm
to retake the muzzle dam facility. facility.am we could go on and on. i would also note that baghdad is still relatively secure. there has been a couple of minor ied attacks inside baghdad, but the iraqi security forces around the capital are still defending the capital. it's not like isil hasn't posed a threat there. the strikes have been southwest of baghdad because we know they continue to threaten the capital. security forces are beginning to hold their own. there is a lot of work left to do. say -- it isld still a mixed picture. their performance as an army is still mixed. which is why we are kind to help them.
2:59 pm
nobody is underestimating the scope of the challenger. >> the series are starting their own airstrikes. will the west ignore or look the other way while the syrians are doing their own? you just don't want the syrians interfering with the u.s. and allied air campaign's. the syrians if strikes are hitting the moderate opposition that you support or create some sort of humanitarian catastrophe? >> i think secretary hagel covered that question. , when you put these moderate opposition back into the field, if they come under attack, will you defend them? he said yes. mr.not going to speak for assad or his army or air force in terms of what they may or may not hit in the future. what i will read a rate is we
3:00 pm
are not -- what i will reiterate is we are not coordinating with assad regime. >> you're just focused on your bombing. >> it's about being focused on what we are try to do and what we are trying to their syria, took degrade level of sustainment. >> the people they're talking about, why doesn't he want to do anything to prevent the syrian airstrikes? that's what the folks are saying up there. >> i can set up your all day and talk about the things we aren't doing our don't do our won't do. what we are doing is going after strategic level targets a belong to isil inside syria, inside iraq as well.
3:01 pm
>> will you set up a no-fly zone in the north? >> i'm not going to speculate about future operations. address whether or not you think any other leaders of khorasan are indeed dead? civilian a lot of casualties including possibly families that were at some of these refineries. these -- are there real concerns about civilian casualties? confirm the demise of any of the particular leaders in the strikes that were taken the other night in and around aleppo. we continue to assess the effectiveness of those strikes. i don't have anything to say one way or the other about whether we killed a leader in particular. casualties, you know that no other military on earth
3:02 pm
takes the concerns over collateral damage and civilian casualties or seriously than we do. we go to great lengths and great care to prevent collateral damage and certainly any hazard to civilian populations. that said, if we have indications that we may have caused to you as you were going to look into that. of some reporting out there that there may have been civilian casualties, and we are taking a look at that. i would add, though, not as a caveat, but just to be completely transparent, we don't have any credible operational reporting through operational channels that we -- that would sustain those allegations. seriouslyking at this and we are aware of these other reports and we will look into it.
3:03 pm
from all the operations. particular, you guys are actually seeing some of that video that i showed you is very fresh. this just happened yesterday afternoon so these images and the videos are still coming in. we actually don't have all the raw material so it's going to take a little while to work our way through that in terms of civilian casualties are attentional collateral damage. i think it is important to say that you saw here on the map, this is a pretty remote area of the country, mostly just desert. it's not urban. we don't believe there is much region -- reason to be concerned collateral damage but we will continue to look at that review that as we work through
3:04 pm
the damage assessment process. one at a time here. go ahead. the --do you assess >> it is real hard. we don't have anybody on the , so that is a great question. it gets hard to disprove a negative when you're mainly looking at it from the air. some time before we have any way to address these allegations and these claims. we have ways to do it, but they are limited by the fact that were not going to have u.s. personnel on the ground going to these sites, so it's going to be hard, absolutely. >> there was yes -- yesterday there was an iranian report saying [indiscernible] the revolutionary
3:05 pm
against isis in the last few weeks. what is your comment on that? militaryow if the u.s. has had any contact even through the iraqi forces, for example? >> i don't have anything on that specific case you talked about. that is the first i've have heard of it. we are not communicating with withn or iranian forces respect to our military activities in iraq. we are cordon aiding in communicating every day with iraqi security forces and the peshmerga up in the north. [indiscernible] >> i can't. i've said from the podium before that we know there are forces inside iraq. that should come as a surprise to exactly no one. i can't sit here and dispel the
3:06 pm
idea that they might be up there. what i can take you as we are not communicating and coordinating with them. environmentaly risk to hitting these? point taken on the coalition partners doing the majority -- the day before. the general was not as forthcoming on the breakdown of strikes. >> i don't have it today but i'm sure we can get that for you. i probably should have anticipated that question. speak for the survivors. i will try to get a breakdown for you. see, thehich you will inbers will bear out that that first night, as the general
3:07 pm
said, the vast majority of strikes were conducted by u.s. aircraft, or u.s. munitions. as you know the first wave was almost exclusively tomahawk missiles and of course we are the only ones firing those from our ships at sea. that often skews a lot of the data. the tomahawk. was second wave was u.s. aircraft predominate but there was a partner nation in the second wave, i believe it was the uae. in the third wave, as i've said before, virtually half the aircraft in that third wave were coalition aircraft. numberswant to give the , but just a little less than 20 total for u.s. and a little more than that for volition aircraft. the munitions breakdown, there dropped, of munitions more than 160 that first night and i just don't have that breakdown for you.
3:08 pm
you did have another question there. i'm not an environmental expert. i can't dispel the fact that in some of these targets there may still be some fires burning as a result of what was hit. wayn, we are working our through the analysis right now. i think it is important to note that these were refineries, and fairly small-scale refineries at that, 300-500 barrels per day was the max capacity. that doesn't mean they were operating all of them and max capacity when we hit them. the crews had to get trucked into these refineries so they can get -- the crude had to be trucked in. it's possible that at some of them, there wasn't any. we are still working our way through that. i can completely ignore the possibility that there might still be some oil fires burning.
3:09 pm
>> were the refineries in syria? >> i think it is fair and safe to assume they probably still have control over several others but we are taking a look at that right now. the 12 constitutes the majority. >> what are some measures of effectiveness for judging the strategic impact? you listed the tactical impact in iraq. measuresthe strategic of effectiveness you're looking for and how long is that going to play out? after world war ii that found a lot of the bombings didn't have impact on the final resolution of the war. how do you judge the effectiveness of strategic bombing? >> let me put it this way. all, we have the means to assess ourselves in ways they
3:10 pm
didn't have back in 1945. we are going to be constantly assessing, almost by the hour, the effectiveness of the actions that were taken. you guys are getting some of the first looks at some of this imagery. it's still coming in and the analysts are still poring over it. we are going to cost only take a look at this overtime. there may be targets that we struck over the last couple of days that we might have to go back and start again. it's part of the dynamic targeting process. how do you know what are your measures of effectiveness? are going after and trying to degrade their ability to train themselves. let me back up even more. syria, the safe haven sanctuary they have enjoyed, they have been able to work or financing. they have training camps. training areas.
3:11 pm
they have resupply themselves. remember not long after they took mosul, we saw some of the captured equipment and vehicles they took from the iraqi security forces. they moved back across the border into syria out of harms way so they could bring it back at a time of their own choosing. the sanctuary that have in syria is sort of a hub for them, sort of a headquarters, if you will. the targets we are hitting in their are getting at those command-and-control capabilities they have enjoyed inside syria. so how do you know that you are having an effect? well, it may take a little while, but we will know when they have dramatically change their operations. we will know when we can see that they no longer are flowing quite as freely across that border. we will know when we have evidence that it's harder for
3:12 pm
them to recruit and train, or they just aren't doing as much training and recruiting. how well are they financed and how much money do you think they have coming in? tactically i'm a you know you're being effective when you can see a vehicle there and then not there anymore. that's a nice thing. and artillery positions that are positions,iring gone. we have hit some convoys and collections of them. and seeing them no more, that's a pretty good tactical effect that you know you are having. but the main point i want to make here is, we get caught up in the immediacy of these airstrikes. but this is going to take time.
3:13 pm
this is not a short-term effort and nobody here in the building is taking but a sober, clear eyed view of the challenge in front of us. that,estion really gets how do you know you are winning? what i'm telling you is that it's going to take us a while to be able to say that. this organization, even after the hits they have taken, and they have been hit, they still have financing at their fingertips. they still have plenty of volunteers. they still have plenty of weapons and vehicles and the ability to move around. wide swathcontrol a inside iraq. no question about it. state it again, this is just the beginning. thank you. >> you have not seen movement into infrastructure like the oil
3:14 pm
or fry grease -- in the oil refineries. so you are just keeping an eye on the 12 modular operations in syria? >> you should ask the driver of inside iraq yesterday. we see them moving around and we can get them, were going to get them. >> leslie general or interim said -- last week general odie .rdos said -- odierno >> i meant to read that out at the top and i got distracted because you guys didn't let me finish showing you the pictures. signed a the secretary deployment order for about 500 soldiers from the first infantry division headquarters from fort riley, kansas. they will be deploying to
3:15 pm
central command area of responsibility later in october. of those 500, approximately 200 will deploy to baghdad as part of the 475 increase that the president announced on the 10th of september. go to the baghdad joint -- tim willnter, 68 be working out of the ministry of defense there in baghdad. 10 to the ministry of defense in baghdad. they're going to provide control of the ongoing advise and assist effort in support of peshmerga forces and they will continue to help us all degrade and destroy isil. of the 300 remaining, they will iraq andstill outside
3:16 pm
i will not detail exactly where they will be. i don't have any updates on the .est of the 475 this 200 will be the first major contingent of the 475. before they deploy the have an advanced element, a handful, 7-10 that have gone to baghdad in advance to get ready of the flow of the other 200. be the first major installment of the 475 that the president announced. this is a headquarters element. don't mix these guys up with the actual advisers. there are still another half dozen or so teams to go apart
3:17 pm
about 475. these teams could number between 15-17, they will be the ones going to embed iraq he headquarters at the brigade level. elementst headquarters are going as a command and control note. they're not going to embed inside iraq he units. they're going to be mostly in the joint operation centers. let's are they meant to be a rotational force? >> they are not meant to fulfill jobs on the teams. i won't speculate at this point about rotation. i just don't know for how long they are going to be there or how and when they might be replaced, but to get them on the ground first. as the operation been given a name yet?
3:18 pm
>> it has not. i know no plans at this point to name it. >> what are these 300 that are going to be -- >> they will be supporting the rest of the first headquarters element in their but right now there's no plan to put him inside iraq. >> how much is all of this costing, and how much is budgeted? how are you budgeting for this? >> it's a great question, and were still working our way through that. i get this question every day and every day i don't have a great answer for you. we are still operating with current funding that we have allocated to us. we are inside the budgets we have been given. the best estimate i can give you between 7-10,000,000 dollars per day, but that varies. so i don't have a great figure
3:19 pm
for you right now. we are constantly assessing this and working on it. that is total for these operations. i want to remind you, that is an estimate right now. we are continuing to work on that. i wouldn't be surprised if the answer that would come back with is different than that. that is the best estimate, and i cannot stress that enough. that is the best estimate at this point. >> kelly talk a little bit about the non-kinetic side of the strategic effort? what are we doing on the west? what are we doing in terms of strategic messaging? broadcasts, have we started that sort of effort? to centralrefer you
3:20 pm
command for that level of specificity. it's not the kind of thing we usually talk about openly and publicly. have an update for you on that. thus for the locus of the energy has been placed on supporting iraq he security forces in peshmerga in the north in conducting these airstrikes. [indiscernible] >> the f-22's did not participate in yesterday's missions, but i would not be in a position to rule out future participation. how soon are the strikes in syria going to switch from high intensity conflict to lower intensity conflict like we have had in iraq?
3:21 pm
>> i don't know that i would characterize what we're doing in iraq as low intensity. ask these guys how intense it is when they get hit. it's pretty intense. i just don't know. even if i did know, i wouldn't tell you. this isn't the kind of thing were just going to tell isil what we're doing. the tag -- the takeaway i would like you to have from this is we are going to keep the pressure on. the other thing that is arertant to say is, we responsible for applying military pressure on them, but there is no way that this group is going to be defeated just solely through air power or even military power alone. we are very cognizant here in , and itagon of our role is one piece of a larger strategy that has to be executed, not just by all the government here in the united
3:22 pm
states but by the international community. , more than 40ant countries are participating. >> there were like 30 strikes the first day and now we're seeing two or three per day. >> at think it's understandable that a target rich and berman will become less rich over time as you continue to hit targets. they will react, you have to expect they're going to react, and we are going to react right along with them. >> beyond whether any of their leadership has been killed, you have any information on how it has been degraded? >> we are still assessing the attacks in syria. we know we hit what we were aiming at. were valuable targets, such as the ones we showed you today. but in iraq, we absolutely no we are having an effect on their morale, on their ability to
3:23 pm
maneuver and communicate, and we know we have forced them to change some of their tactics. i'm not going to detail all that for you here today. but we know just by virtue of the information we have been able to collect and analyze in iraq at we are deftly having an effect. now you got me all confused. we know we are having an effect on them in iraq. we know that, but an important point to make is, as i said at the beginning, and i will keep saying it, nobody is doing touchdown dances here. nobody's doing high fives. we know there are still a lot left to do in this group remains bible inside syria and iraq. this is not by a long stretch over. khorasan group is a different
3:24 pm
matter, and i guess i misunderstood your question. degraded, i'mbeen sorry. we are still assessing the results of those strikes as well. we have high confidence we hit the targets we were aiming at in and around aleppo. i can't say with extreme confidence that we know we have in fact disrupted a specific attack but we definitely know we hit targets that belonged to ,hem that were of use to them and we are still assessing the results of this. >> can you offer any more , was it that they had gained the capability [indiscernible] or was there a specific threat at a target in europe are against the u.s. homeland that we saw and then prevented? hereneed to be careful
3:25 pm
about the depth of information i get into from an intelligence if. is, theyll tell you were in the advanced stages, near the end stages of planning an attack on a western target. we don't know whether it was in europe or the u.s. homeland, but we know they were getting close. about hownt to talk exactly we know that or the manner in which they planned to haduct this attack, but we enough information that led to a high degree of confidence that this was the right time to get them. -- iext question will be know where you're going with this. -- in the future was this attack going to happen? i don't know if you can pin it down to a day, week, a month, or six months.
3:26 pm
it doesn't matter. far better to be to the left of a boom then to the right of it. certainly to prevent them getting into an execution phase, which we don't believe they were in yet. that's where you want to be. so we can have this debate about whether it was valid to hit them are not, whether it was too soon or too late. i don't think we need to throw up a dossier to prove that these are bad dudes. we will see where we go from there. describe what level of effort there is to bring back the iraq he leaders that were ousted in the last administration? question is better put to central command. adam had that level of detail in terms of advising the mission and how they're going to go about doing that. i'm not aware of any discussions
3:27 pm
or plans to bring back old commanders. understanding is first of all , the advising admission has only just recently started and we have more divisors that will be going in. their main focus is going to be helping the iraq he army better organize itself and develop its own capabilities and improve their competence and confidence. could that be part of it? i would refer you to the general and his staff for their thinking on that. i didn't say it's not a priority, i just don't know. what i do know is the focus is them to improve their battlefield confidence. there are a lot of ways to do that. i'm the wrong guy to ask. i know you can get into too many details, but how long have
3:28 pm
you known about this group? a lot of analysts have not even heard of the khorasan group. how long have they been around? >> they are an offshoot of al qaeda. nuy are a affiliated with al sra. they are not a household name too many of the american people. we have been watching them for many, many months. them andeen aware of we have been watching them and monitoring their activities, which led to the information we have which precipitated the strike. i don't know how many different analyst may have been aware that we were aware. and weargets were valid believe the justification we used to get them was sound.
3:29 pm
>> there's a report out that there was a threat to the new york city subway system pertaining to the group we are talking about. do you have any information on that? the second question is on the fate of the remaining western hostages. >> i'm not going to get into the intelligence we had surrounding the attack that we know they work planning. i'm just not going to get into details on that. on the hostages that we still holds, i don't have any information today to provide in terms of what their captivity looks like or where they might be or anything like that. what i will tell you is we asain focused on that issue, we have stayed focused on it, and are doing the best with can to gather as much information as possible. >> a possibly the military
3:30 pm
action we're seeing inside syria, could it pose a threat to their safety? >> i think their safety is under threat as it is. i think it safe to assume if you're being held by these guys that it's not a safe environment. let me put it to you this way. wheres not a day goes by the leadership here isn't focused on their fate in a precarious situation they are in. that situation isn't going to be made any easier or better by enjoying the free reign they have enjoyed in that region. >> could you drive us through , re-hundred-500 barrels today does not match with the revenue per day given
3:31 pm
by centcom. >> i'm not trying to be flippant, the 2 million figure is a figure that some regional think tank organization came up with about how they are selling things on the black market. i don't know whether price for oil.e that's why i was more general today on this. there are estimates by outside organizations that it could be that 2hat figure, but million figure is not ours. it's not an estimate that the u.s. intelligence community or the pentagon is endorsing our
3:32 pm
has come up with. as i said at the outset, the capacity of these refineries is 300-500 gallons per day. it doesn't mean they are always operating at capacity. i was trying to give you a sense of why these were valid targets and why they were important to go get. it was said that the syrian radar was passive. is that still the case? are you monitoring the syrian aircraft, where it is going? >> i'm not going to talk about intelligence matters, tom. you know that. yesterday,at we saw i think the general's characterization is still accurate. >> are the customers of this black market oil coming from isis in danger of an airstrike? talk aboutwe don't future operations. i'm not going to speculate about what we may or may not do.
3:33 pm
the focus of the strikes we are taking are on isil and their membership, their cake abilities -- capabilities, their infrastructure and their ability to sustain themselves. >> in regard to senator hagel's testimony that the u.s. would defend the moderate rebel forces against attack from syria, how? are you talking about u.s. air strikes against syrian military components? >> will we get to that point, we will have that discussion at the appropriate time. we haven't even started the training. we are just not there yet. the focus right now is on getting these guys vetted and recruited into the program and trained. the secretary was clear in his testimony at once we have trained opposition forces, should they come under attack, we would defend them. but i'm not going to get into speculating on what that might look like right now.
3:34 pm
the u.s. sent a message to the syrians of its intent to watch the airstrikes, did they also send a message of intent to , a warning not to engage, that they would be engaged by the u.s.? >> i would refer you to the you and for that system of the -- vehicle permit was -- speaking for the military, there was no coordination, no commission with the assad regime. thanks, everybody. got to go. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> here's an article online today about attorney general eric holder's resignation. nancy pelosi told a stunned
3:35 pm
audience at eight congressional about hisus town hall resignation. was televised on our sister station, c-span2. pelosi called for the group to praise the excellent of our great attorney general, eric holder. the message is that the attorney general will be submitting his resignation to the president. let us salute him again for all of his great work. we showed that event to you live earlier today. you can see it in its entirety .ur website, www.c-span.org the president will be at the white house this afternoon, announcing the resignation of eric holder. he is stepping down after six years as the nation's top law-enforcement official. we will have live coverage starting at 4:30 eastern, and after that we will take your phone calls. >> here are just a few of the
3:36 pm
comments we've recently received from our viewers. >> i watch c-span almost every morning. you do a great job with the programming. i think the people you have on our really good and the topics you choose are really good. what i would like to see is somebody from both sides of the opinion. , lot of people have commented watching a debate between two other people is so much more informative for the public. you guys have done this a couple of times, you get both sides here, and i think that is what is really awesome. you guys are great, but you could be awesome. >> c-span needs to get more liberal type, smart commentators that are familiar with world affairs. one that comes to mind is dr. jeffrey sachs. he would contribute to a liberal for our government
3:37 pm
and the world. he could be a fine contributor of c-span and give it a little more balance. >> i wanted to thank c-span for their balanced coverage and for letting everybody have their say on tv. that is very much appreciated in our democracy. thank you. centuryo disappointed changed the format. i can no longer see who is speaking or what even the topic is without getting out of bed and going up in front of the tv because i can't see it. i'm just really, really upset about that. us know whato let you think about the programs are watching. us, or you e-mail can send us a tweet. join the c-span hombre station,
3:38 pm
like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. next, a discussion on the legal debate surrounding president obama strategy against isis as well as the threat the militant group poses to the u.s. and other western countries. we will bring you much of this is we can leading up to president obama's announcement about eric holder stepping down. , doesare discussing president obama have the legal authority to fight isis? joining me is a constitutional law professor at american university, washington college of law. we also have a senior legal fellow at heritage foundation and also served as former deputy assistant for detainee affairs. let me begin with you. domestically, there's a lot of debate about whether on where's
3:39 pm
should come back and vote for authorization of war. does the president have the legal authority right now? >> i think he does. you have to divide the debate into three sections. does he have the dip mastic legal authority and is there a statute on the books that can exist that gives him domestic legal authority? is there an international law basis for strikes in iraq and syria, and third, does he have the backing of the market people and congress? the american people want to see strikes against isis. congress he dabbled out of town in september 2 go back and run for reelection. clearly he does. there is a robust debate among the academy of bloggers -- law lawyers, but the administration
3:40 pm
has to make the case legally for why they believe they have domestic legal reason to do so. >> what you're pointing to that you think legally they have the authority to do it? >> clearly the 2001 authorization for use of force gives the president the power, the express authorization from congress, to go after those folks he believes aided, orned planned, abetted the 9/11 attacks. after -- as the discussions play out this morning, you will see basis grew directly out of the core al qaeda folks, even though they were created in 2004. that is the argument for the reliance on that 2001. guest: i think i agree, but i think we are jumping over a fairly important threshold question. we are jumping over why president obama has legal authority. it might help to start with what
3:41 pm
force we are talking about. i think the why question depends on what we are doing. if we are talking about individual scattershot strikes against senior members of isis who have ties to al qaeda, that is a very different legal question and easier than some kind of coordinated extensive campaign that perhaps introduces even ground troops into parts of iraq and syria. i think there is a tendency, especially in washington, to jump right to, what legal authorities can we rely on. we have to start with, what are we trying to do and what are the uses of force that president obama is contemplating and what is the endgame? only then do we have the conversation about which legal authority we can use. i agree i think the 2001 gave us a little bit of leeway if we except the factual etiquette that isis really is the successor to al qaeda.
3:42 pm
that is debatable based on what we know. it is plausible. but we're getting ahead of ourselves. the real question before we get to that is, what are we trying to do, what kind of force are we talking about, how widespread, what kinds of strikes, and only then can we really get into the domestic and international law question. host: what you're saying is the strikes we have seen in yemen, john strife, those individual, pinpointed strikes, when a guest to syria and doing airstrikes, the mf is not covering that? guest: depends on which strikes you're talking about. we know from what the obama administration said publicly, some of the strikes acknowledged have been against folks identified as senior al qaeda leaders. identified as a senior al qaeda leader. i do not think there is any question the president has multiple authorities to use force in that case, both under the 2001 and if there really is
3:43 pm
an imminent font against u.s. prisons or u.s. territory, the president of his own constitutional power as commander-in-chief and self-defense. the problem is the line in which -- where the president is acting in self-defense may be elusive, but not illusory. it has enormous constitutional significance for the conversation. host: let's talk about the 2002 iraq war resolution. the white house in july said to congress that you can resend that and we will not rely on congress anymore. in a letter on tuesday, the speaker of the house pointed not only to the 2001 authorization, but also the 2002 iraq war resolution. i want to show our viewers decisive action. authorizing the president to use forces to defend national security and enforce u.n. resolutions. take necessary actions against terrorist organizations,
3:44 pm
including those who planned authorized, committed, and aided the terrorist attacks of september 11, 2001. it does not say they have to be part of al qaeda. guest: right. in may of 2013, the senate armed services committee held a hearing in which senior administration officials testified. i was on the next panel of non-senior officials, and the president made clear shortly thereafter he ultimately wanted to repeal the 2001 aumf. the fact is, the enemy is the enemy. the enemy has a say in what they will do. and by the way, i agree with everything steve just said here it the fact is, when i testified in may of 2013 before the senate and armed services committee, said it would be unwise to prematurely appeal the 2001, unless and until the threat from al qaeda and its affiliates is
3:45 pm
substantially diminished. what we have seen, and i pointed to al qaeda and iraq, which is now isis, among other groups. look. the fact is, i think the president did the right thing. i think the president is taking the necessary actions against this enemy, which the director of the national counterterrorism center is -- set is a dangerous threat. we could debate the legality and i agree with steve we are jumping over key steps. but what happens is when congress leaves town and the ministry does not engage in debate, we are in a void. and we are in that void right now. host: you agree the steps are appropriate for the threat? guest: i think, again, it depends and information we do not fully know. part of what is frustrating about the conversation is that it is really hard for folks like us and folks watching at home to assess all of this without all of the information. how widespread? we heard in a news report two nights ago there were 47 missiles launched over the weekend. that is a large number to me, at
3:46 pm
least if we're talking about scattershot, limited use of force. i think the larger point bears underscoring, which is, i do not think this is the ideal situation. i do not think it is ideal that president obama is forced to look back to 12-year-old statutes that were not designed for this, whether or not it is a plausible argument, it is certainly not what congress had in mind. i do not think that is ideal situation for president obama or the separation of power. i do not think it is ideal for us. when congress leaves town to go run for reelection without actually considering dozens of proposals already out there for how to have in the more specific statute crisis, i do not know what obama had left. host: how can you craft legislation when the fed appears to be changing? all the sun, the president meant since -- mentions a group for the first time.
3:47 pm
how do you taylor legislation for a specific threat when you do not know where the next threat is coming from? but there is a great blog post on steve's outstanding blog and it talks about, essentially, and i think it is your response to a law professor from harvard's piece, is one thing to say, ok, we want to narrowly tailored toward isis and other clearly identifiable groups that have core ties to al qaeda. it is another thing to say, as others are saying, look, they can change their names and they change them all the time. but they essentially flow from the same root. we should have a broad scale authorization use of military force against islamic terrorist groups, loosely associated to al qaeda were closely associated to al qaeda. the question is a question of how narrow and how broad, knowing that the threat is eve all thing.
3:48 pm
-- evolving. it is a healthy debate and a good debate to have. we only declared were five times in our country since the ratification of our constitution. the mexican american war, the spanish-american war, and the war of 1812. the rest has then either expressed authorizations from congress or presidents acting on their own. guest: the tricky question if we get into that debate is, what is our goal? a popular myth that after 9/11, the president popularized a war on terror. if you read the statute, congress was much more specific and rejected language by the bush and ministration that would have had war on terror. people should think about this when they go vote in november, do we want to be at war with every extremist terrorist group everywhere in the world, or are we specifically worried about groups that pose concrete and imminent threats to our interests? host: let's get our viewers involved in the conversation.
3:49 pm
a democrat from virginia who wants the debate on the floor both houses gave a speech at the center for american progress where he said what you just said. that when president bush first came to congress, he was too broad language and they said, go back and narrow that. michael, democratic caller. go ahead. caller: it is ok for us to go to war with isis because ice is killed two reporters, and then we say, ok, go to work because they killed these boys, but this government killed our boys and are constantly killing black boys every day. is it ok for us to go to war in america? when our boys are in danger? in america? host: michael, that is a different topic. let me move on to george, republican caller.
3:50 pm
caller: i support mr. simpson all the way. i think president obama has no other choice but to go in there and take these guys. we know they're all haters. there's one other thing i would like to say. if there are only -- over a billion and they say, only a few were terrorists, i wish they would police their own. we did with tim and -- timothy mcveigh. lock them up. if there are such few terrorists, why can't they take care of their own? one other thing, why did president obama act out of iraq? can anybody tell me other than a political reason? host: let's start with you. guest: it is worth pointing out how much president obama has expressed his view that this is a regional problem and that the other countries in the middle east, whether they are arab countries were any countries whatsoever, all have
3:51 pm
responsibilities to help. part of why isis is a perfect storm is because they control wide swaths of territory. the notion that those host governments who we would usually expect to exercise ordinary law enforcement powers to contain the threat by themselves is exactly what rope down here. iraq clearly cannot respond to isis by itself. assad regime in syria cannot handle devices threat by itself, and that is part of what we heard president obama say in his speech after general assembly yesterday. it is because ice is has all this territory and these countries are either unwilling or unable to deal with the threat themselves, there is -- it is imperative for all these countries around the world, especially the countries in the region.
3:52 pm
host: go into another sovereign country like syria and start bombing? guest: it depends. we have taken the position that serious, either by assad's comments or reading the -- reading between his comments, that he is either unwilling or unable and we have tacit approval to do that under this long-standing doctrine of unwillingness, and because we are acting in collective self-defense because iraq has asked us to help them, and the fighters are coming from syria and iraq that we have a basis. the deputy prime minister and the australian prime minister yesterday after obama's speech made comments suggesting they were not necessarily in agreement. the deputy prime minister said, for military operations in
3:53 pm
syria, there is currently no international agreement on the internationally illegal mandate. to george's broader point, i think president bush and president obama have been consistent in one way in particular. that is that the vast majority of muslims are terrorist. everyone knows that. countries most affected by isis and al qaeda affiliates know that those organizations kill muslims in addition to western allies. all those countries have skin in the game and a vested interest in defeating isis in al qaeda. that is why i think it is wise for president obama to work the international channels to get them to have a major part in solving the problem. it will not be over in a few weeks or a few months.
3:54 pm
it will be a long struggle. that goes back to the earlier point of how you define this. host: next, new jersey, independent caller. you are on the air. caller: yes. i agree with what president obama is doing. the problem i have is that all the television stations want to know everything the president will do. when you get all that information, we are not the only ones listening. al qaeda is listening and isis is listening. so they know what our strategy is. a country has to have the ability to keep some of the information secret. host: let's take that point. guest: i like her. she is correct. we have to have the ability to keep national security secrets secret. that is i people who disclose our national interests without legal authority do a great disservice to our country and
3:55 pm
are traitors. i am not concerned about having an open and free press. i think that is one of our strengths. i am concerned about the disclosure of national security secrets like snowden did. guest: there is a fairly different thing between keeping our operations secret and keeping the war secret. the american people have a right to be involved in public debate about who the enemy is, where the enemy is, about how on the campaign will go on, how much it will cost, and what the endgame is. the biggest mistake united states as a whole made when we went into iraq the first time in 2002, and this was said quite openly, is that we do not have an exit strategy. after we quickly ran over the regime, we did not know what to do next.
3:56 pm
president obama is about that question, what happens next? what is the second wave of operations and what do we do with assad regime and the unstable government in baghdad? i do not think those are matters properly kept secret when the american people will be footing the bill for the conflict and when americans are the ones in the middle of the conflict. guest: i 100% agree with what he said. the other thing people want to hear is, what is victory and what does that look like? that is what they want to hear in the context of everything else we are talking about. host: on twitter, this to say. -- so our viewers what the resolution has to say. approved by congress november 7, 1973, over president nixon's
3:57 pm
veto. he is still within that 60-90 day window. guest: yes, but not for long. this will increasingly be a math problem for the obama administration. these were power resolution letters are seven different notifications to congress about different escalations and different uses of force in iraq and syria against isis. the theory behind these seven different letters is that each one of them starts the clock the new. that is not what the resolution was meant calm push. -- to accomplish. it was to create this congressional restraint, that there is an automatic off
3:58 pm
switch. if the president could just reset the clock, the off switch becomes pointless. guest: seven new letters the since this was again in august and iraq and request the first were over the summer in june and july. there have been five more letters since august. i think the war powers resolution provides at least ambiguous cover for the initial operation. it does not necessarily authorize them, but it does seem to contemplate some. those 60 days, no matter how you count them, will be up long before congress was back in november. guest: it is not surprising that every president since nixon has taken the position that it is unconstitutional. but that president reagan and clinton. reagan and clinton did not get express authorization for -- from congress from the following actions. reagan, persian gulf. clinton, bosnia, the middle east, kosovo. i frankly think the administration in the congressional calendar in september relied on the 2001 aumf in small part to stimulate
3:59 pm
this today and that there would be a debate -- postelection. guest: thus far, this does not look that different bomb -- different, but it will soon. host: robert, a republican, thank you for hanging on the line. caller: please do not cut me off. i'm surprised you brought on two professors who totally agree with each other on the issue. republicans lost control of congress in 2006 because of george bush's unconstitutional invasion of iraq for no reason. and, you know, these guys need to check out the constitution. president shall be commander in chief when called into service by the united states. it means congress has to issue a
4:00 pm
declaration of war. it is completely unconstitutional. congress does not have the >> all right. let's take that point. >> well, there is a tension and it's between article one section eight clause two the declare war clause. robert pointed out, the commander-in-chief clause. it is a long-standing debate. we analyze each and every clause with a long, robust discussion about the back and forth, the jousting between the branches of government. it's not going to be resolved today, not going to be revolved in the obama administration, it is not going to be resolved. it's a tension the framers put in place so they could defuse power across the federal government and the state governments >> do you totally agree? >> i'm sure there are a lot of things we disagree with. i'm not a law professor. i am a military officer who served 23 years in the navy and i served at the heritage

8 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on